I thought it was time to introduce you to one of my muses: Vibeke Svenningsen from Vibeke Design. Not that she needs an introduction, she’s a well-known photographer and stylist after all. Such a beautiful Scandinavian farmhouse style with pops of colour, a wink to all four Nordic seasons and some influences from English and French cottage and country style. Did you know that one of Vibeke’s images made it onto the cover of Country Living’s new book ‘Salvage Style, decorate with vintage finds’?
So… we see her amazing images and style shared all over social media. But who is Vibeke? Where does she get her inspiration from? What has her creative journey been like until now … I had many questions, we started chatting and voilà:
Vibeke, what strikes me the most in your style, is the combination of beautiful and vintage décor with natural elements such as flowers, branches, blossoms, fruits. Where does this inspiration come from?
I’ve always loved an older, more weathered look, as if things tell a story. I’ve had this since I was very young. I’m especially drawn to old things with an attractive patina. And because I like flowers, their colours and structure, I’m very inspired by the composition. My creative side/mind is always opened up to find new colour combinations and compositions.
So many beautiful colours are present in your photography. Tell us, what’s actually your absolute favorite colour and why?
My favorite colours are blue and green. Both are inspired by Spring and Summer. I’m especially fond of light blue combined with spring flowers and green. Nature is a big source of inspiration for me, so the way I use colour is often inspired by the seasons. Orange, brown, red & yellow in Autumn for example, when the leaves are most beautiful and the apples are harvested. On my walks with my dog Nure I often come home with a twig or a flower and that’s how my creative process takes place. I have a lot of textiles in the colours of plants, nature and flowers, and that’s how I can create a harmonious environment in the home.
Vibeke, I told you before that you’re one of my muses because of your beautiful style but also because of your persistence. Whatever you do is so consistent, every week again there are beautiful images, sometimes a painted piece, all perfectly styled. It’s really hard work, so what’s your secret?
I’m easily excited and inspired, when I meet new people, by art, by nature … yes, I’m a person who takes in a lot. I’m never bored, and I always have a project going on.
I have always liked painting and drawing. When I was 10 years old, I took lessons from a ‘Rosemale’ painter. He taught me rosemale, an old Norwegian folk art pattern, and it’s as if I still carry those lessons within me when I paint or decorate today.
I have always liked old furniture, it was really ‘furniture art’ they made back in the days. Transforming a furniture piece is one of the most fun things I do. And when I came across milk paint I started to like it even more. This paint is completely unique to work with and the results are always what I want.
Now that my children are older I can devote my free time to my projects and that’s probably why I seem so active. But then again, I like to have always something going on, my creative pursuits feel relaxing and joyful. That gives me more energy to be creative all the time.
You started your blog in 2011. What’s the biggest creative lesson you have learnt since that first day?
Stay true to your own style and what you’re burning for. Don’t think you have to change your style to impress others out there.
What other advice would you give to someone who wants to start living her creative dream?
I combine a day-job with my creative dream. I work in kindergarten, and in my free time I work as a freelance photographer and stylist. I also teach courses, have speaking engagements and have a shop. This works really well now, since my children have grown up. I take one day at a time but I stay focused on the dream. I’m looking forward to the day I can only live from being creative. I think all people should continue to follow their creative dream so they eventually can live it.